From mild sunburns to serious scalds requiring skin grafts, burn injuries of any severity or type can be extremely painful. With approximately 500,000 people seeking treatment for burn injuries in the United States each year, it is important to understand some of the common causes of burns, as well as when and where you should be the most cautious.

The most common types of burn injuries occur, as expected, from direct contact with an open flame. It doesn’t take long to produce severe burning. About 46 percent of burns are the result of direct contact with fire.

Scalding injuries are the second most common types of burns, accounting for approximately 32 percent of burn patients in the U.S. each year. Scalding can easily occur from contact with hot liquids, like coffee, tea, steam, oil or a variety of other liquids. Scalding injuries can become quite severe, as a spilled liquid can stay hot for a long period of time after initial contact with the skin.

Thermal burns stem from contact with hot surfaces or objects. These can be rather common in places like welding shops, where the temperature of an object is not immediately apparent when looking at it. These types of burns account for roughly 8 percent of all burns.

Electrical burns make up approximately 4 percent of burns. As with thermal burns, it can be very difficult to visually judge whether an object has live current running through it.

Chemical burns account for around 3 percent of burns. Chemical and electrical burns typically produce the most severe injuries and often require hospitalization.

To treat most burns, the first thing you should do is flood the area with cool tap water. Although a lot of people tend to put ice on burns, this is inadvisable because it can cause further damage to the injured tissue.

Have you or a loved one suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s actions or negligence? If so, consult a skilled Los Angeles personal injury lawyer right away.